Tag Archives: Pavement


Built to Spill
There Is No Enemy, 2009

If you had asked me, say, 15 years ago which of my favorite ‘90s-era guitar bands I’d still be obsessed with all this time later, I wouldn’t have guessed Built to Spill. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely in thrall to the band’s quirky blend of Neil Young guitar rock and panoramic pop-psychedelia — particularly the “Holy Trinity” of There’s Nothing Wrong With Love, Perfect From Now On and Keep It Like a Secret — but those records felt distinctly grounded to their era. Pavement or even Modest Mouse, to me, stood the better chance of surviving the decades. But something about the earnestness of Doug Martsch — the wide-eyed, almost childlike puzzlement in his songs — rings truer for me now. And I know of no other traditional guitar band that’s covered more musical ground over the years while remaining fundamentally unchanged at the core. Seriously, throw on something from Ultimate Alternative Wavers after “Done” and you’ll see what I mean. I made a rule when I started TBSYHAD that I’d never repeat an artist, but 90-some posts later I’m breaking it for Built to Spill.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/08%20Done.mp3]


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“Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth”

Parkay Quarts
Content Nausea, 2014

I feel comfortable proclaiming “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth” the best Parquet Courts song to-date. (Er, Parkay Quarts, whatever — I guess the distinction on Content Nausea is really just the 4-track recorder, right?) Anyway, they saved it all for this song. It’s like hearing the last 50 years of guitar rock on one track: the skewed-heartland lyricism of Bob Dylan; the sometimes-sincere slack of Pavement; the blocky, amateurish guitar of The Velvets. Throw in some kind of abstract southern-Odyssey storytelling and baby, you got a stew goin’. I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly new about this, but it’s rare to hear it done this good. I like this look on Parquet — more of this next time please, less “Stoned and Starving.”

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/12%20Uncast%20Shadow%20of%20a%20Southern%20Myth.mp3]


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